Watching my boy play on an off evening, seeing so many young moms with their toddlers & kids around me initiated a thought process. Many questions started popping in my head about their journey to being a mommy & am familiar with this kind of state. No matter how much chaos & noise is around me my thoughts seem unaffected. To my luck I had my lappy with me so immediately took it out & started tak-tak on it…
These mommies around me, chit chatting, sharing their experiences of motherhood & the journey that they’ve all been through… different.. difficult.. painful.. exciting.. overwhelming.. fearful.. emotional.. but all leading to the same result.. A Beautiful Baby !
We all agree that motherhood is extremely beautiful, but I believe that the journey to it is equally beautiful. Unfortunately not many mommies agree with me that this journey to motherhood is beautiful. And I don’t blame them. Each one goes through various experiences starting right from seeing her pregnancy test positive till holding her new born in her arms. It is the biggest change she goes through, Mind & Body. And its absolutely important that she should be guided in the right way at the right time while taking this journey. Spouse, parents, family play a vital role but someone, whom she doesn’t know from very long, suddenly becomes her most important person, her biggest guide, her caretaker. Someone who she believes knows exactly what is best for her & most importantly her growing baby.. That person is her Doctor…her Gynecologist.
So when this person is so important, how do we select him/her. What should be the criteria on the basis of which we put in your faith, and the life of the mommy & baby in his/her hands. Well, not to create any gender preference Ill refer to the Gynaec as Doc. So how does one select their Doc?? Well, my observation & experience points out to few ways… Referred by a relative or a friend who has been under the care of this Doc.. Mother or mother-in-law has unshakeable trust on this Doc & the final selection has now become the question of her esteem.. Suggested by someone who has heard a lot of good things about this Doc.. Our dear pal Google helped us shortlist one.. Few group of women discussing about this Doc in a mommies group on social media.. Detailed online hunt with reviews… hush !! There are many more ways but lets stop here..
Well here’s my opinion, WHICH I AM NOT GIVING AS A DOCTOR, but rather as a patient, having been all through it myself. There as just a few pointers that would make this selection pretty easy & hence giving you immense relief. Medical qualifications & expertise is of course what one should see, that goes without saying but they surely shouldn’t be the only parameters. Check these out & chalk out your priorities in the order that you prefer.
- SPENDS ENOUGH TIME TO ANSWER YOUR QUERIES.
This is the MAIN thing that he/she can give you, TIME, to listen, to understand what you’re going through. The usual complaint that I have heard from patients who have experienced other doctors is that they aren’t given enough time. We all are aware to the time we spend in the waiting room to meet our doc, all that time is filled with anxiety & a number of questions that we’ve memorized throughout the way that we need to ask out dear doc. After patiently waiting when you come out of the doctor’s cabin with unsatisfied with the answers you got or may be irritated that you did not even get ask those doubts in the first place ! It’s not worth it.
Specialized doctors see similar patients throughout their practice, so they have to repeat the same lines again & again many times a day. Yes definitely can get boring, sometimes annoying but all I can think is that “Yes, doctor may be repeating this for the 100th time but this patient is listening to this for the first time !” Coz had they already known this answer this question wouldn’t have been in their list. So people when you feel happy & satisfied & confident walking out of that cabin…it’s a thumbs up !
- HAS A SOOTHING & WARM APPROACH.
The Doctor’s aura…Yess, we all agree that doctor’s usually have this particular aura around them. Being a doctor has always been a very noble profession, hence they are showered with loads to respect & gratitude. Doctors also come across as very disciplined, busy individuals. A sum of all this creates some kind of a gap between doctors & their patients. Certain patients do reconsider asking some of their queries to their doctors thinking that “I may look like a fool” or “Should I be wasting his/her time with this silly question?” “May be I should just google it”. You should be comfortable to ask or speak anything to your doctor, without worrying that you will be laughed upon or given just a look.
- IS IN SYNC WITH THE NEW ADVANCES OF THE FIELD.
Medical filed is making advances with each new day. Older methods & techniques are being replaced by newer & more beneficial & patient friendly options. Your doctor should be happy to incorporate these advances for the betterment of his/her patients. For example, Laparascopic surgeries are pretty successful these days, and have fantastic results when performed by skilled & experienced doctors. If a doctor isn’t trained for the same he/she should explain the theory to the patient & happily direct him to a skilled doctor for the same. The Benefit of the patient has to be the primary concern.
- INDIVIDUALIZES EACH PATIENT AS PER THEIR CONDITION.
Every human body is different. And almost every doctor realizes that. When you meet your doctor for the first time with a complaint, the interest he/she show in getting to know your system relates to the rule of individuality. The more questions, means the more he/she wants to know you & inturn have a more individual approach towards your problem. Thus resulting in a much better & effective management.
- HAS A STRONG, RELIABLE BACK UP IN HIS/HER ABSENCE.
This one specially applies for the patients who require a timely management like pregnancy. Doctors after all are also people, who have families, personal issues & commitments, emergency conditions. The time of delivery especially is not always predictable so despite your doctor’s plan to be there for you, it may just not work out that way. Hence he/she should always have a backup plan for you, just in case you land up in an emergency when he/she is not around. A reliable setup, with extremely reliable colleagues, to be there for you in your time of need. Getting an answer like, “Am sorry am out of town & hence I cannot help you, please look for another doctor” is just completely inappropriate. Rather it should be like, “Oh don’t worry at all, I have it all managed for you & everything is going to be just fine”. So all you expecting mommies this one is definitely to be kept in mind.
- EASY ACCESS TO THE SETUP WHERE YOU SEE HIM/HER.
Today, being an era where everyone is short of time, nobody would like to spend time travelling for long durations or being stuck in the honk honk traffic of the city to reach their doctor. So yes, a comfortable distance is definitely one of the priorities today. Personally I would give this one lesser importance coz am selecting the person who I am going to trust for my little one’s & my life of course. So if he/she is that good & I have to travel a bit to get what’s best, I wouldn’t mind. But yeah in times of emergency the closer the place the better
UNDERSTANDS OTHER ISSUES LIKE FINANCIAL, FAMILY.
As said above the Benefit of the patient should be the primary concern of the doctor. Benefit in terms of health as well as mind. Expenses of medical services should not create a mental burden on the patient or her family. Charging for the services one provides is their right I agree, but it should not be making the patient sleepless with the thought of paying the bills. Hence being a little considerate towards such problems won’t do any harm am sure .
Wellll…. Here I have put down what comes to my mind without any intention of hurting or blaming anyone. There may be many people who may appreciate & some who would crticise….and am fine with both
*** By writing this I am not claiming to be a perfect doctor with all those qualities above, (definitely trying to be one though) rather I have written this as a patient who’s looking forward to choose a doctor.
Thank you for reading… Good luck !
Dr. Radhika Wagh.